Basic Recipe for Lemonade (Limeade or Sour Orangeade)
Here in S. Texas, we are blessed with a plethora of citrus fruit. We like to use either lemons or the seedy “Sour Oranges” (Seville) to make this citrus treat. Vary this recipe as you like it – depending on your preference for sweet or sour and also the varying sweetness of the fruit to be used. It can be made up and frozen in small quantities for future use.
1 C. Boiling Water
2 C. Sugar
1 Tsp. Citrus Peel Zest, Optional
3 C. Fresh Sour Citrus Juice (Lemon, Lime or Sour Orange)
Boil the water, sugar and peel zest for about 5 minutes to make a syrup. Allow to syrup to cool slightly before adding fruit juice. If you wish, place this in a refrigerator or freezer to speed the process. Add the citrus juice. Stir well. This will make a syrup concentrate to which can be added water or club soda. Use approximately 2 Tbsp. of syrup per glass. Taste and adjust to your liking. Add ice and serve!
This mint flavored syrup can be used to make a cool and refreshing summer beverage. See Minted Lemonade recipe, pg_. It can also be added to other beverage or punch recipes. Or, it can be drizzled over fresh fruit, ice cream, or pudding. It can also be used as a cake glaze. The recipe makes about 2/3 C.
½ C. Fresh Mint Leaves, Stemmed & Packed
½ C. Water
1 C. Sugar
Green or Red Food Coloring, Very Optional!
Combine all in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the syrup has thickened. Strain out leaves. Add green food coloring, only if desired. Allow to cool. Store, refrigerated, in a tightly sealed container. To prepare a beverage, add water, juice or herbal tea and ice, to taste
The recipe serves just two, but can easily be multiplied. Use Mint Syrup (pg_) to make this beverage.
1 Lg. Lemon, Juiced
2 Lg. Oranges, Juiced
1 C. Pineapple or Apple Juice or Ginger Ale
2/3 C. Mint Syrup
Combine all and stir or blend in a blender. Add ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Fast Day Mocha Latte
Need a protein (& caffeine!) pick-me-up on a hot, drowsy fast day afternoon? Try a version of this recipe and you’ll once again be good to go! Serves 2.
2 Glasses of Chocolate Soy Milk (Such as Silk), Chilled
1 Small Pot Espresso Coffee (Spanish-style coffee maker, for on the burner)
½ Tsp. Vanilla Extract
Sugar, Honey, Splenda or other Sweetener, to taste
Put water into the bottom of the stove-top espresso maker (a “greca”). These are inexpensive and can be purchased at almost any Mexican or Latino Grocery store. Add espresso roasted coffee. Prepare the coffee, which steams upward into the top of the coffee maker. If using honey, add it now, and stir once again. If using sugar or other sweetener, add it to the soy milk along with the vanilla. Blend in the coffee/chocolate mixture. If you want this really cold, allow coffee to cool to room temperature before mixing it with the soy milk. Place it in a tightly-sealed jar and refrigerate until well chilled. Just before serving, again mix or briefly whirl in a blender or food processor. This drink will keep for several days, refrigerated.
A Variation: If beginning with Plain Soy Milk (unflavored), add 1 Tbsp. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips into the top of the coffee maker. When the coffee is finished, turn off the burner and stir in the now melted chocolate chips, blending them in well. Or, unsweetened cocoa powder could also be used and mixed into the sugar, then together, into the warm coffee.
Café de Olla (Spicy Mexican Coffee)
Serve hot and steaming with fresh Polvorones or Biscochitos on Christmas Morning, or for a winter afternoon treat.
1 C. Water
8” Cinnamon Stick, Crushed
4” Strip of Orange Peel/Zest
1 Tsp. Whole Cloves
1 – 2 Tbsps. Piloncillo or Dark Brown Sugar
4 C. Fresh Hot Coffee, Spanish Dark Roast such as Café Bustello or Goya Brands
Boil the cinnamon, orange zest and cloves in the water for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and boil another 5 minutes. Pour the coffee and (unstrained) syrup into a large heatproof pot or pitcher, and serve immediately.
Jamaica Blossom Ginger-Up (Caribbean Hibiscus & Ginger Beverage)
3 Lg. Limes, Juiced
2/3 C. Hibiscus Flowers (Jamaica), Dried or in Tea Bags
2 C. Sugar
3” Long Piece of Fresh Ginger, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
6 C. Water
¼ C. Rum or 1 Tbsp. Rum Extract Flavoring, Optional
Combine the lime juice with all other ingredients, except for the (optional) rum. Bring to a boil. Cool. Refrigerate overnight. Strain well. Discard the solids. Add rum flavoring just prior to serving. Add ice if so desired. Garnish with a mint sprig or a slice of lime. Triple the recipe and serve in a punch bowl for a special occasion. Float a few fresh hibiscus blossoms and very thinly sliced lime rings on top of the punch. A bottle of store-bought ginger ale can also be added to make it “bubbly” if used as a punch.
Tropical Fruit Special
A great treat for children and adults alike. This recipe makes 5 servings, but can easily be altered and multiplied. Our long-time friends, Arnold and Connie Krochmal, used to serve this to young guests who visited them at the Federal Agricultural Experimental Station they worked at in the Caribbean year ago.
1 Can Mango Nectar
1 Can Papaya Nectar
1 Can Guava Nectar
1 C. Orange Juice, Fresh Squeezed or otherwise
½ C. Lemon or Lime Juice (or a combination)
1 Tbsp. Orange Peel Zest
Combine all of the ingredients. Allow to chill for several hours before serving.
Citrus Juice Punch
Adapted from a recipe first published in The Days Have Come, a Lenten cookbook presented by St. George’s in 1985. It was submitted by Elisabeth Reeves, the now married daughter of Father John and Matushka Reeves, who was the first and founding Pastor of St. George’s.
1-48 Oz. Can Orange Juice (or 48 Oz. Fresh Squeezed)
1-48 Oz. Can Grapefruit Juice (or 48 Oz. Fresh Squeezed)
1-48 Oz. Can Pineapple Juice
½ C. Fresh Lime Juice
Mix all of the above ingredients together. Freeze part of the juice blend in ice cube trays. Chill the remainder. Just prior to serving, add:
1 Large Bottle of Ginger Ale or Lemon-Lime type Soda
Add frozen juice cubes. Add a few thin slices of lime and a few sprigs of fresh mint for a garnish.
Tropical Licuado de San Miguel
A beverage similar to what one might find in a small market café in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where our fellow Orthodox friends who formerly lived in Atlanta, Stephen and Lisa Wright and their children now reside. Good for breakfast or later in the day, this bebida fresca can be prepared on hot, summer fasting day, as well.
½ C. Mango, Cored, Peeled & Diced
½ C. Papaya, Seeded, Peeled & Diced
½ C. Fresh Pineapple, Peeled & Diced
½ C. Ripe Banana, Sliced
2 C. Orange Juice, Freshly Squeezed
1 Small Can Papaya, Mango, Pineapple or Apricot Nectar Juice
Mix the fruit together in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add the juices. Chill and serve. Serves 2, but the recipe can easily be multiplied.
An unusual but very flavorful beverage or punch. If used as a punch, float some fresh rose petals on top of the punch bowl. Vary this recipe depending on the quantity you need – whether a glassful or to fill a punch bowl.
Rose Petal Syrup (see pg__)
Juice from Lemons and/or Limes
Water – Or Lemon-Lime Soda or Ginger Ale, to taste
Ice – or a frozen ice ring
St. Nicholas Wine (Bishop’s Wine)
December 6th (Gregorian Calendar) or December 17th (Julian) is the traditional day when the famed Bishop of Myra and Lycia left this life and entered into the kingdom of His Lord. It is on the day of a Saint’s death that they are normally honored in the Church. St. Nicholas is one of the most famous and beloved of all the known Saints, and was a great defender of the Christian faith at the First Council of Nicea. This recipe for mulled wine is traditionally served on his feast day. Although St. Nicholas’ feast day is always celebrated during the Fast of the Nativity, the Church allows fish, wine and oil to be served on the day in honor of this great servant of Christ.
2 Bottles Red Wine
1 Orange, Studded with Whole Cloves; Cut into Fourths
2 Strips of Lemon Peel
1 Lg. Cinnamon Stick, Broken
½ Tsp. Each: Mace, Allspice & Ground Ginger
2 – 4 Tbsp. Sugar, or to taste
Pour the wine into a large pan. Add the orange, lemon peel and spices. Cover and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Add sugar to taste, stirring until it has dissolved. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove fruit and spices. Serve warm. This yields approximately 10 servings.
Lait de Pomme ~ Moroccan Apple & Milk Drink
An excellent vegan, fast-day version of this can be made by substituting regular milk for either plain or vanilla soy milk. It makes a great breakfast or mid-afternoon pick me up.
2 C. Milk (Low-Fat, Whole, or Soy Milk)
1 Crisp Apple, Cored & Quartered
Honey or Splenda, to taste
Combine all in a blender or food processor. Serve frothy and cold.
* Put 6 or so Raw Almonds in the blender first; blend them well then add remaining ingredients.
* Add 1 Tsp. Vanilla or Almond Extract
* Add 1 Tbsp. Roasted Wheat Germ
* Sprinkle Cinnamon or Fresh Grated Nutmeg on top, before serving.
Christmas Eve Punch
Good served as well for New Year’s Eve or for any special occasion! The recipe is perfectly suited for either non-alcoholic or by adding a bit of Rum, a spiked version.
1 Lg. Bottle Cranberry or Cran-Raspberry Juice
1 Lg. Can Unsweetened Pineapple Juice
1 Can Frozen Orange Juice, Diluted
2/3 C. Lemon Juice
½ C. Sugar
2 Tsp. Almond Extract
1 Lg. Bottle Ginger Ale
1 Orange, Seeded & Thinly Sliced
1 Lemon, Seeded & Thinly Sliced
½ C. Maraschino Cherries & Liquid, Optional
1 C. Light Rum, Very Optional!
Chill all ingredients before mixing the punch. Mix the ingredients together in a punch bowl. Slowly add the ginger ale last, just before serving. Gently stir and serve.
Mexican Christmas Beverage
This is a warm, tropical beverage traditionally served in regions of Mexico on Christmas Eve.
5 ½ Oz. Tamarinds, Peeled
2 C. Water
2/3 C. Golden Raisins
15 Pitted Prunes
5 Whole Cloves
10 Fresh or Frozen Guavas, Cut into Small Pieces (or 2 Cans, Drained & Chopped)
1 Cinnamon Stick (Canella), about 5 – 6” Long
Sugar to Taste
Put the tamarinds and water into a heavy pan. Boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Add more water, the cinnamon stick, cloves and half of the remaining fruit. Simmer for 1 hour or more. Add some sugar. Taste; it should be sweet but not overly so. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Strain the liquid into a heat-proof serving pitcher or bowl. Pour the drink into mugs and garnish each serving with the remaining fruit. Drink while still warm.
Wassail Bowl #1 (Old English Christmas Caroling Beverages) Non-Alcoholic
“Here we come a wassailing among the hills so green…” thus begins a traditional wassailing song of old England. This version of the traditional English holiday beverage Does NOT contain alcohol. It is rather, basically a spiced or mulled cider which is served warm. We drank a version of this treat after Parishioners and friends of St. George’s went Christmas Caroling around the neighborhood of the Church one year.
1 Gallon Apple Cider
1 Liter Ginger Ale
3 Tbsps. Honey
6 Whole Cloves
1 Pod Whole Cardamom
1” Fresh Ginger Root, Thinly Sliced
4 Sticks Cinnamon, Broken
1 Med. Orange, Thinly Sliced
1 Med. Lemon, Thinly Sliced
Combine all ingredients. Heat slowly and then simmer for approximately 1 hour. Strain out and discard the spices. Serve hot, preferably after Christmas Caroling or delivering Christmas food boxes.
Wassail Bowl #2 (Old English Christmas Caroling Beverages) With Alcohol
“Wassail, wassail all over the land! The snow it is white, and the ale it is brown!” so go the words of an old English “wassailing” song. Of course, the English and other people from Celtic lands, where the tradition originates, always cherished their “pint a’ brown ale.” At Christmastime, people would go from door to door, singing to their neighbors, with hot mugs of Wassail, apples and other treats shared in exchange. This recipe, for the bold and daring, is much more “traditional” than the previous non-alcoholic version.
3 Qts. Brown Ale or Beer (Or, Apple Cider)
1 Lb. Brown Sugar
2 Lg. Sticks Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Grated Nutmeg
1 Tbsp. Freshly Ground Gingerroot
2 Lemons, Thinly Sliced
1 Bottle Med.-Dry Sherry
Baked Apples – baked in a moderate oven until tender - to float on top
Pour 1 Qt. of Ale into a large pan. Add the sugar and spices. Heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add lemon slices and remaining liquids. Float apples on top. Gently heat and keep warm until served.
Cranberry-Raspberry Valentine Punch
This tasty punch can be served either cold or warm. It is nice for Valentine’s Day, or for any other special occasion.
5 Cinnamon Sticks, Broken
1 Tsp. Whole Cloves
1 Whole Pod Cardamom
1 Tbsp. Dried Mint (Or 4 Tbsp. Fresh Mint)
½ Gal. Cranberry-Raspberry Juice
1 Lg. Bottle Ginger Ale
1 Orange, Thinly Sliced
Place cinnamon, cloves and mint in a small cloth bag or piece of muslin. Put the spices in 1 Qt. of the Cran-Raspberry Juice. Simmer for 20 minutes in a saucepan. Remove spices. Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl. Add ginger ale last. Float thinly sliced orange slices on top of the punch bowl. Add fresh mint leaves as a garnish as well.
Rio Valley Sangria
Sangria means “blood” in Spanish. In New Mexico, we could see the “Sangre de Cristo” Mountains (blood of Christ) outside of our home’s front windows. Dark red, cool and refreshing, this Spanish style fruited wine is just right when shared at a special (late evening!) dinner on a hot summer night.
4 Oranges, Seeded & Thinly Sliced
1 Rio Red Grapefruit, Halved, Seeded & Thinly Sliced
2 Valley Lemons, Seeded & Thinly Sliced
4 – 6 Mexican Limes (Key Limes), Thinly Sliced
2/3 C. White Sugar
½ C. Brandy
2 Bottles Dry Red Spanish-style Wine
Use a large jar with a lid (such as a gallon jar) or a covered pitcher. Sprinkle the sugar over the fruit and place the fruit into the jar or pitcher. Pour the brandy over the fruited sugar and mix well. Cover and allow this to sit together for at least an hour (overnight is better). Chill the wine. Add it, stirring to mix well. Let stand for another hour before serving. Serve over ice in a glass pitcher or a punch bowl. Makes about ½ Gallon
Spanish Orange Sherry
An old Spanish recipe which makes a flavored liquid which is very tasty spooned over fresh fruit, vanilla ice cream or pudding. Or, it can be served over ice as a beverage. Or, it can be used as an ingredient in punch.
Peels from 3 Large Oranges
1 Fifth of Dry Sherry
Remove peels from the oranges. Cut them into thin peels, as one would do for making candied orange peel. Put the peel into the sherry. Seal tightly. Store for approximately 6 weeks, so flavors will extract. Strain out peel. Decant and seal tightly.
French Orange Flavored Wine
Moving on to France, this is a traditional orange-flavored recipe, which can be served as a beverage or used as a marinade ingredient or in cooking. This is a good beverage to make up and preserve during the height of citrus season here in the Valley. It makes a nice gift.
2 Lbs. Oranges, Quartered & Seeded
1 Bottle Dry White Wine (Burgundy)
1 C. Sugar
2 – 3 Tbsp. Cognac
Pack oranges into a large glass jar. Pour in the wine. Cover tightly and allow to sit in a place out of direct sunlight for about 1 week. Strain the liquid into a saucepan. Add the sugar. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Cool. Stir in the cognac. Pour into a wine bottle or decanter. Cap or cork. Let stand for 1 week. Chill well before serving. Serve with a small sliver of ½ and orange round on the side of each glass.
Agua Fresca del Sandia (Spanish-style Watermelon Juice)
Although we were first introduced to this refreshing beverage one year when we visited the girls Dominican “Tia” (aunt) in Miami, it is also a local favorite both in Mexico and here in the Texas Rio Grande Valley. It is served as a seasonal specialty at a local corner café in Pharr, near the local post office. Although the café’s version is quite sweet, it is also very refreshing. In hot, sweaty climates, such as this one, the vitamins and minerals contained in the juice are also excellent for recharging one’s electrolytes. Sandia perfectly accompanies foods on the caliente side. The amount of sugar and citrus juice can be greatly varied depending upon the natural sweetness of the melon, and your personal taste. Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar, eliminate it altogether, or substitute Splenda in the recipe
8 C. Watermelon Chunks, Approximately
1 C. Sugar, Approximately, or less, to taste
1 Lemon or Lime, Juiced, Optional
Shaved or Cubes Ice
Cut chunks of watermelon from its rind. Remove any seeds. Place this in a blender or a food processor, by smaller batches if necessary. Mix in sugar and a bit of lemon or lime juice, to taste. Chill and serve over ice. A mint sprig or wedge of lime in each glass makes a nice garnish.